The Cincinnati Bengals hope to get to the .500 mark for the first time this year when they play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Game time is 1:00 EST on Sunday, November 5 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. The game can be seen on CBS in local markets.
Oddsmakers have the Jags as 4.5-point favorites at home. That line has increased after Jacksonville opened as 2-point favorites. The over/under for the game is 39.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 9 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Bengals vs Jags Vegas Preview & Game Predictions
The Bengals are almost fully recovered from a disastrous 0-3 start to the season. They have won three of their last four games, bringing them to 3-4 on the season. Cincinnati’s schedule the second half of the season appears manageable, but it’s critical that they get back to .500 before they start thinking about competing for a wild-card spot.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, have a real shot to win the AFC South. They’ve allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season and have the league’s top rushing attack. However, Jacksonville has found creative ways to lose games this season and are yet to win consecutive games, which is something they’ll need to rectify if they expect to reach the playoffs.
Free Pro Football Pick Against the Spread: Jaguars -4.5
I’ve been burned a couple times this year by believing in Jacksonville, who has a propensity for beating themselves. But coming off a bye week I’m going to trust that Doug Marrone will have his team ready to play. I’ll lean toward the Jags, who should have no problem covering 4.5 points against Cincinnati if they play anywhere close to their best.
Despite some recent success, I don’t think the Bengals are that good. Two of their three wins have come against the Browns and the Colts. In fact, they were lucky to beat the Colts last week. Indianapolis got the better of them statistically but just couldn’t close out the game. Considering that Jacksonville doubled the Colts in total yards the previous week, I can’t put too much faith in the Bengals.
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The biggest concern for Cincinnati is the dreadful play of their offensive line this season. Andy Dalton is on pace to be sacked 50 times, which would be a career high for him. That’s made it tough for the Bengals to sustain long drives and finish them in the end zone.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars lead the NFL in sacks with 33, which amounts to nearly five per game. The Bengals are one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL, which equates to a lot of situations in which the Jags can come after Dalton with their vicious pass rush.
Cincinnati’s saving grace this week is that they’ve been tough defensively this season, especially against the run. Outside of Le’Veon Bell, the Bengals have held most of the running backs they’ve faced this season in check. If the Bengals can stuff the run and force Blake Bortles to beat them with his arm, they should be in good shape. But with Leonard Fournette expected to return from injury and the Jaguars having the top rushing attack in the NFL, Cincinnati’s defense will be tested.
But with Leonard Fournette expected to return from injury and the Jaguars having the top rushing attack in the NFL, Cincinnati’s defense will be tested. Odds are the Jaguars will be able to find some success on the ground and not put the game in Bortles’ hands.
As frustratingly inconsistent as the Jaguars have been this season, they are a much better team than the Bengals. Even if the Bengals can contain the Jacksonville running game, which is a big “if,” protecting Dalton and moving the ball offensively remain huge question marks. On the back of their defense, I like the Jags to win comfortably and cover against Cincinnati.